Living off-campus for the first time is exciting. But failing to properly plan for your new living arrangements can be problematic if you’re not careful. To make things as easy as possible for UCF students, we’ve pulled together the following tips for those living in off campus housing near the University of Central Florida.
#1: Start Looking Early
Getting a head start on your apartment search can make all the difference when it comes to finding the right place. After all, UCF is a huge school with tens of thousands of students, and many of those students will probably be looking for the same types of apartments as you. To gain a competitive advantage, begin looking for your future apartment in the early spring months of March and April.
#2: Know Your Budget
Before you dive head first into a lease, it’s a good idea to get a handle on your budget. The last thing you want to do is fall behind on your rent payments. And if you don’t monitor your finances closely, you could potentially build up a lot of debt.
The amount of money you should allocate for rent each month will vary from person to person, but it’s important to remember that rent will not be your only fixed expense. Your budget will also need to account for utility costs, grocery bills, and a little bit of play money.
#3: Be a Good Neighbor
Introduce yourself to your neighbors a day or two after moving into your new place. Building relationships early on is a great way to feel like you’re part of the community. It also doesn’t hurt to be on friendly terms with your neighbors in the event a conflict or dispute arises. You don’t want to be stuck living next to someone you can’t stand for an entire year.
#4: Use Campus Resources
Just because you’re living off campus doesn’t mean you have to stop using on-campus resources. Although it’s much easier to exercise at your apartment community’s fitness center or swim at the clubhouse pool, the UCF campus is a great resource for other amenities. Student Health Services is one resource of particularly notable use.
#5: Find a Roommate
Living in off-campus apartments near the University of Central Florida is much more comfortable with a roommate. Not only will you be able to afford a bigger place, you’ll also have a companion or two to share your college experiences. However, finding the right roommate is very important. You don’t want to live with a messy person if you like to keep everything neat and tidy. And you definitely don’t want to live with someone who is going to distract you from your studies. In order to avoid conflict, draft a roommate agreement so that you, and the people with whom you are living, know what is expected in terms of chores and study times.
#6: Plan Transportation
Before the fall semester begins, make sure you have a solid plan for getting to and from campus. Obviously this shouldn’t be too difficult if you have a car and a parking permit, but those without a personal vehicle will need to seek other options. Fortunately, local LYNX transit buses serve the UCF campus via three different routes, so public transportation is a safe alternative if you don’t plan on driving.
Whether you’re a college sophomore living on your own for the first time or a young professional looking for graduate student housing near UCF, we hope the tips above help you transition into your new home.